A Trembling Dog

A Trembling Dog

A Trembling Dog

We have a strange situation with my mom’s Shih Tzu, Honey. She’s a trembling dog. Let me tell you about it and see if you all can help us figure this out?

Shih Tzu
Mom’s trembling dog, Honey

(Today’s post is gently recycled. I’ll tell you, at the end, what we figured out with our trembling dog scenario.)

It started a couple of months ago. We’ve been brainstorming to try and figure out the problem. We have no clue. This happens once or twice a week.

Honey goes outside in one of two ways – twice daily walks in the neighborhoods, and out in the fenced backyard to pee. She’s fine on her walks. She LOVES her walks. And she seems to like being outside in the backyard, chasing and barking at squirrels, or soaking up rays. Honey is a real sweetheart.

Time of Day – or Night

The problem is her time outside in the backyard, and this only happens at night, or in the wee hours of the morning before the sun is up. Mom says that it does not happen when the sun is up, or on their walks.

Honey will go out to the bathroom at night, then freeze. Mom will go out to find her frozen in place, trembling, eyes not really focused. At first we discussed the possibility of  a predator – and maybe that’s really what it is. This happens once or twice a week.

If mom picks Honey up soon enough and brings her in, the trembling stops and Honey is back to being her perky self. If mom doesn’t catch it quickly, Honey is a trembling dog and will slink through the house, tail down.

It’s weird, y’all.

Possible Answers

And did you know that WebMD answers pet questions? In doing a search for trembling dog, I found their page. Several things we’re pretty sure it’s not, that they give as possible causes, are these:

  •  Distemper – no fever, nasal discharge, etc. This behavior only happens occasionally.
  • GST, or Generalized Tremor Syndrome – mostly occurring in small dogs, pretty sure this isn’t the problem. This is so specific to backyard and it being dark out. Not generalized at all.
  • Nausea – from motion sickness. Sitting still in the backyard cannot be attributed to motion sickness. And Honey LOVES a car ride.
  • Old age and pain – nope. Honey’s not a puppy, but neither is she old.
  • Poisoning – nope. She’d be dead by now.
  • Excitement – if it weren’t for the tail tucked and the slinking, I might entertain this one, but Honey seems to be afraid. I think.

Help! Anyone? Honey is pretty large for her breed. She does not have a nervous disposition for a small dog. She’s quite friendly and loving. This only happens in her own back yard at night, and not all the time. The yard is smallish and fenced.

So? Do y’all think it’s a predator? Has anyone out there encountered something like this with their own dog? A clue? Please? It was a little scary the first couple of times. Honey was definitely not herself, almost ill-seeming. I’m sure my mom will weigh in in the comments, as well, filling in gaps I’ve missed.


So here’s what mom figured out, and maybe it can help your dog. It was nothing from the above list. Honey’s blood sugar was dropping. Mom was feeding her once a day, in the morning. By evening her blood sugar would drop and she’d tremble. Now that mom feeds her twice a day, she’s fine. I’m sure I’d do the same thing if I only ever ate breakfast. Of course, mom also gives her tidbits from her own supper plate, so Honey is doing more than fine. 😉


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10 thoughts on “A Trembling Dog

  1. Thanks Flea,
    This only started when it got really cold. Mommy thought I was just too cold the first few times and warmed me up in her bed. But, I’ve been out a very short time and still come in shivery.

  2. I would wonder if maybe it was a seizure. Has she discussed this with the vet at all? Her unfocused eyes make me wonder. Very odd, but I’d definitely ask the vet about it. Keep us posted – I’d love to hear what he/she says!
    Blueberry’s human recently posted..SamMy Profile

  3. You know what, that sounds a bit like a mild seizure. There are several types and most of us associate seizures with the losing consciousness and convulsing. However, some seizures can be very small. Read up on it here – http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/types-of-seizures-their-symptoms. This is for people, but the same can apply to dogs. When I took Pierson to the vet, he said that Pierson could have small ones too where he just stares blankly or “freezes” in place. There are many reasons for a seizure so I would have the worst situations eliminated by having the vet look at her and test her blood.
    Dawn recently posted..Pierson’s SeizureMy Profile

  4. I would search the yard for poison plants. Also Kirby used to chase little frogs and would pick them up in his mouth causing fosming and spitting. We quickly taught him to leave them alone so thats a possibility. I would think seisures would happen at other times.
    Kirby the Dorkie recently posted..A Doggie Snow DayMy Profile

  5. OK, here I go again..Lol Mollie does this at night, not in the day..I think it’s anxiety, in the daytime Mollie see’s the birds ( she’s a bugger, barking at them, trying to chase them ) at night, she can’t see them but thinks they are still there, she goes totally weird…Perhaps it might be she thinks somethings there and it isn’t. Just a thought 🙂 xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie
    Mollie and Alfie recently posted..REVENGE.BEZT SERVED COLD!!My Profile

  6. When we were out about dusk last night, Mommy and I saw a huge barred owl in a tree half a block away. Maybe this is the critter that is giving me the shivers.

  7. That is awful… It might be a bad experience that she has associated with the dark of the night. Since you mentioned that it only happens during the evenings, could it be something she sees or smell that isn’t present at day time?

    I think mom should watch Honey when she goes out and check how the reaction happens. It’s important to find out what the trigger is.

    Good luck on your vet visit, Honey.

    Huggies and Cheese,

    haopee recently posted..Mischief Monday: Deworming and SpamMy Profile

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